Side By Side With The Power of Gratitude
Last updated: March 2023
Once again, I am reminded to have the right attitude for another year. Being grateful keeps my eyes away from what I lack. Instead, it makes me count my blessings. There is so much power to heal when gratitude appears, side by side with me while living with lung cancer. Moreover, being grateful enables me to cope with hard times with ease. However, cultivating gratitude needs practice, especially as I continue with my own journey.
My gratitude journal
There are many different ways I create my personal gratitude journal. I used to have a mini-notebook for my gratitude journals. But the emergence of phone Apps, as well as the built-in phone "Notes" icon, has come in very handy. I can easily access them anytime and anywhere as long as I have my phone.
In my journal, I count all my family thanksgiving celebrations, friendships, goals, achievements, positive outcomes on cancer care, triumphs in overcoming negative emotions, and most of all, my answered prayers from my almighty God.
Finding a sense of belonging
I belong to some lung cancer support groups. Moreover, belonging has been part of my journey since diagnosis. I have come to the realization that I am not alone in my struggles. Nor am I alone with my rollercoaster emotions, treatment side effects, and great stress.
In the support group, I constantly extend gratitude where it’s due, as well as receive the same gratitude from loving and caring lung cancer sisters and brothers.
Gratitude in prayer
Growing up, my parents instilled in us to give thanks for everything, not only in good times but also in bad times. It is an act to acknowledge God’s control and power in my life.
Furthermore, I thank God, for He is the source of goodness, peace, hope, and love. This truth has helped me traverse my lung cancer journey with gratitude. On top of these, I am surrounded by people who pray for a well lung cancer journey.
A gratitude tradition: "The Hot Seat"
My family has traditions we do on some occasions like Thanksgiving, Birthdays, and New Year. Every one of my family members have a chance to express their appreciation and gratefulness in life. But this year, I plan to add a gratitude hot seat. That means not only the person has a turn to speak, but to also listen and receive the appreciation from others. I could just imagine the happiness of whoever is in the gratitude hot seat as a result. I'm sure there would be an increase in their morale as well.
Gaining strength to face challenges
Our society paints the picture of a person with lung cancer as sort of a repercussion from smoking. Living with lung cancer comes with a challenge of facing the stigma and also the people’s view on the illness. Thus, I am determined to spread lung cancer awareness and tell my story.
Practicing gratitude throughout my lung cancer journey is a free activity that I can do anywhere and anytime. It has to be consistent so there will be great impact on myself and the people around me.
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?